The Wells branch of the Elim Pentecostal Church took over its current building, now known as the Connect Centre, in 2008. At the time the building, formerly a youth centre, was in a semi-derelict condition and a project was initiated to renovate the entire building to enable the church to fulfil its mission and to continue to grow. Phase 1 of the project included the incremental renovation of several rooms and the addition of a commercial kitchen and improved washroom facilities but funding was not available to renovate the entire building, including its largest room, formerly a gymnasium.
We plan to complete Phase 2 of the Connect Centre Project by renovating the remainder of the building and by adding additional space internally.
During 2013 an architect was instructed to consider options and public consultations took place on their proposals during 2014. However, during 2015 it was decided not to proceed with their design when it became apparent that the scheme was too expensive and was opposed by some of our neighbours. A planning application for this scheme was therefore withdrawn. Since then a simpler proposal has been developed with a different architect, Chris Donoghue from Wotton Donoghue Architects (WDA). Planning permission for the revised scheme was granted in January 2017 and the team are scheduling the start date for the first stages this year.
WDA’s proposal, whilst retaining many of the features of the previous design, it is significantly simpler and better lends itself to phased construction as funds become available. One key difference is that the former gym will be brought in to use to provide a new, much larger meeting space earlier in the project, with a pre-fabricated mezzanine floor to be added later as funds permit.